Do you have a song that sticks in you head and plays over and over whether you want it to or not? an earworm? I have one that's perfect for this time of year. It's People Look East, one of the top five in my inner ear playlist, often my first thought when I wake up in the morning. That's ok because I love it. It's not like some of the earworms I've suffered. When I was making an etching of Pegasus, the winged horse, and using silver ink, I kept singing to myself,
"Silver wings upon their chest;
these are men, America's best
one hundred men will test today
but only three wear the green beret."
the Ballad of the Green Berets! Oy!
People Look East is an Advent song about preparing the way for the birth of Jesus. One of the things I love about the Christmas story is that when God became human it was not as a mighty king but as a newborn baby who needed our care and protection. That's the thing about things of value--friendship, marriage, a baby, a garden, the earth-- they require our care.
But back to People Look East.
When I made my book of carols I started with this song but it's copyright protected so I'd have to pay a fee and even then I could only share it with friends. I just couldn't get the drawings right. I'm sharing my failures with you here and I hope you'll be kind.
The first verse says, "Make your house fair as you are able, trim the hearth and set the table." I made several attempts. I really need to learn to do the hard things first, before I fill up the page with easy things like wallpaper. I like the house here but the people are just too..I don't know, I just don't think they fit the house. Maybe I just got tired of it.
Here's another try--still not happy. I like the staircase but the woman holding the garland in the living room--her face is awful. Now that I look at this I can see possibilities and maybe I'll get back to it.
Verse 2 says, "Furrows be glad though Earth is bare,
one more seed is planted there,
give up your strength the seed to nourish,
that in time the flower may flourish"
this one is embarrassing.
Verse 3, "Birds though you long have ceased to build
guard the nest that must be filled.
Even the time when wings are frozen
God for fledgling time has chosen."
Again I got carried away really enjoying the evergreen branches and then messed up the female's eye. I couldn't see a way to fix that. She's my brother Rob's favorite bird--he calls her Lady Card.
Verse 4 is about the stars keeping the watch, bright as the sun and moon together, and verse 5 speaks to the angels, saying,
"Set every peak and valley humming,
with the word the Lord is coming."
I gave up before I got to those verses, or rather, put it all away for another time. I don't know why I'm showing you my failures; I'm sure you already know that not every time at bat is a home run.
No matter how many times I sing this song I'm inspired by every chorus which says that love in one form or another is coming. And I love that message. However you celebrate this season, however you get ready, I wish you every kind of comfort and joy, and love.
I'm happy with this but it's not finished. I didn't know what to do with it but when I started putting birds in my house series I saw what to do.
This is from my series titled Great Moments in American History; Lewis and Clark planning their expedition with blue jays looking on. I began the series in all sincerity and have come to see the disturbing underlying feelings in these moments. Did it occur to these guys that there were people already living in those territories? I've thought about adding Sacajawea, perhaps in the coin dedicated to her but I haven't done it yet.
Anyway I'm going to do some more blue jays and put them with the blue house. So far I've done a Red House with Crane,a Yellow House with two herons and a Blue House with walking bird (I don't know what he is) . This will be a celebration of the primary colors.
I'll let you know how it works out. Have a great weekend.